I got to the hospital at 2.30pm and was taken to a waiting part with comfy chairs that had little units next to them so you could put your belongings in. There was also access to water, squash and some magazines.
A lovely nurse introduced herself, gave me a leaflet on the operation - and the option to read it there and then or after. I was told that the operation probably wouldn't be until 4pm ish. I had my first lot of eye drops, just in the eye that would be operated in. 2 types of drops, they dilated my pupil but not sure what else they were for. The picture below shows how one eye was dilated but not the other - weird look or what!
I had 4 sets of drops in all before going through into the theatre.
Before I went through I had some measurements taken of my eyes - I was warned that the operation means there is a high chance of developing a cataract at a later date and the measurements would help when that time comes. I also saw both surgeons before hand who looked at the back of my eye to check the area and discuss the best way to operate. They decided on the gas buckle. They mentioned again how unlucky I was but the surgeon seemed sure that it wouldn't happen in the other eye though he has promised they'll keep an eye on it.
The actual surgery:
I went through and laid on a bed that had a head shaped head rest to make it easy to keep my head still. A blanket was put over me. The surgeon came and put some more drops into my eye and then a device to keep my eye open was popped in, it felt a bit sore and uncomfortable but not painful.
Then came the anaesthetic. I was (helpfully?) told that this was the worst bit and that if I could do this then the rest would be a breeze. They put some more drops in - possibly iodine - and then they injected my eye with the anaesthetic. I felt a lot of pressure - as though my eye ball was being pushed out of the back of my head. It didn't hurt as such but it was not pleasant. As soon as that was done the vision in my left eye went.
I was pushed on the bed through to the actual theatre room. They covered my face with a blue sticky sheet that literally stuck to my skin, they pulled part of the sheet away to get to my eye. They put a little oxygen tube under the sheet so that I didn't get too hot or stuffy under there. I think this helped relax me too as it made it really easy to breathe and stay calm.
They put some more anaesthetic in, it felt similar to the first time but not as intense. I think I had 3 lots of this in total although I could be wrong.
The surgeons then set to work. I plucked up the courage to keep my right eye open although all I could really see was the blue of the sheet over my face, I saw occasional bits of light and dark but I couldn't really make anything out. I had already decided that my coping mechanism would be to write out this blog post in my head and so that's what I did. I thought of ways to describe it and tried to take in what was going on.
I couldn't feel anything, there was a little bit of pressure here and there - that I was warned about each time and some water running down my cheek. I could sometimes hear different machinery, some whirring and some snipping but it didn't feel like it was really happening to my eye. I was listening to them talk, they discussed a little how rare I was, and how awkward the tears were, and they found two new tears - one of which had caused the detachment. These and the old tear were frozen - I think they called the machine 'cryo' as the surgeon requested the 'cryo' on and off at various points.
The surgery lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes from the moment I went through the doors to the theatre. The surgery itself did not hurt and wasn't as scary as I thought it might be. I was calm throughout and didn't feel worried at all. I was comfortable too. In the theatre a big white pad was taped over my eye.
See the next post for my after surgery day 1 experience!
Thanks for reading